The voices in my head

26 Jan

You are being selfish, you know that, don’t you?

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a holiday but couldn’t you be satisfied with a week in Spain, like everyone else?

The children would be happy anywhere, happier at home in fact. They won’t enjoy moving every few days and will just get tired and grumpy. And you know that they are too young. Who travels around the world aged 4? What are they going to get from it?

All that time in confined spaces isn’t going to do your marriage any favours either. You’ll have nowhere to hide and no time to yourselves to talk properly.

And what about getting ill? You do know that malaria is a deadly disease don’t you? And what about dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis?
You are being completely irresponsible exposing your children to these illnesses. You would never forgive yourself if they got ill. Or worse.

What about the children’s education? It’s all very well having A levels and degrees, but that doesn’t mean you can make an eight year old sit down and do her maths. You struggle enough with her homework as it is. And what if you don’t get school places on your return? She might not get into a good secondary school because she’s missed too much.

Returning home will be awful. You will be miserable. Steve will be miserable. And what about the children? They may not settle back into school. They’ll be ‘different’ and vulnerable to bullying. They won’t thank you.

Remind me why you thought this was a good idea?

This post is part of the writing workshop at Sleep is for the Weak.  Josie asked ‘What have the voices in your head been saying lately?’


22 Responses to “The voices in my head”

  1. Its a Mummy's Life 26/01/2010 at 2:54 pm #

    This shows brilliantly how doubts can seep in and take over. You describe them clearly without fluff. Great writing. Also I think you are doing something amazing that will be give you and your family a lifetime of memories. A friend of mine did something similar and schooled the kids herself. She never looked back.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 26/01/2010 at 2:57 pm #

      Thanks. I kind of wish I hadn’t written this, as I’m normally a glass half full type of person. But these are the voices in my head and I thought writing them down might be helpful. I’m not sure.

  2. Laura McIntyre 26/01/2010 at 3:01 pm #

    I think they are all very valid worries , i cannot imagine the huge responsibility of taken kids so young away from the life they know . Will you be home-schooling them along the way?

    On the other hand though what an amazing opportunity and your children will learn so much more a year travelling than a year at school . Even all the family time sounds amazing , with no work or other distractions you will all be so close . If it was possible for us i would want to do it in a second , your children are so lucky to get this chance, many children never go overseas at all.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 26/01/2010 at 3:21 pm #

      yes, we will be home, or road-schooling them, but I don’t know how successful we’ll be, time will tell

  3. Heather 26/01/2010 at 3:42 pm #

    These are all valid thoughts and doubts and I love you for airing them like this. You are only human, you love your family and it is natural to have doubts like this, you wouldn’t be a responsible parent if you didn’t have them. Of course you should worry about them catching these diseases and their education and fitting in when they get back.

    But what you are offering them is an amazing gift. Something so many people would never get a chance to do. Something that if you cancelled it all now you would spend the rest of your life wishing you had done.

    These worries and fears are normal, they just mean that when the time comes you take extra special care to get these bits right.

  4. Liz (LivingwithKids) 26/01/2010 at 4:01 pm #

    Ignore the voices. It is the Trip. Of. A. Lifetime. The kids will never, ever forget it and they will probably learn more about history, geography and different cultures than they would ever learn in a classroom. They will get plenty out of it and you will all have a lifetime of memories x

  5. Tamsin 26/01/2010 at 4:01 pm #

    I totally agree with Heather, this is an amazing opportunity that you’re giving your children, memories to treasure forever.

  6. PippaD @ A Mothers Ramblings 26/01/2010 at 4:49 pm #

    Why the voice raises good points, they are all something that can be sorted easily with a little foreplanning (which you have done) and understanding (which we all have lots of for you).

  7. TheMadHouse 26/01/2010 at 8:15 pm #

    All I can say is that you will all get so much more out than you would at home. Doubts are natural, but if other people say it then they are only envious!!

  8. Littlemummy 26/01/2010 at 9:23 pm #

    I love this post, it’s like reading a conversation that usually goes on inside your head.

    You’re going to have an amazing time, and so are the kids. I can’t wait to read all about it.

  9. Littlemummy 26/01/2010 at 9:24 pm #

    Ok, I just re-read your title and feel like a fooooool for the first line of my comment 🙂

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 27/01/2010 at 11:36 am #

      I did worry slightly when I read that first comment 😉 Still, at least it shows I’ve done it properly.

  10. Kelly 26/01/2010 at 9:34 pm #

    I am forever saying that my geography is appalling as is my understanding of other cultures.

    Your kids will never say that.

    Plus, apart from reading and writing can you really remember what we did all day at primary school? I know I can’t!

  11. Mummy Mania 26/01/2010 at 10:18 pm #

    what they learn will far outweigh a few weeks loss of school (which they can always catch up). I think it is a courageous and exciting thing to do – which is exactly why your inner voice is terrified!

  12. Josie @Sleep is for the Weak 28/01/2010 at 5:26 pm #

    You would be a pretty rotten mummy if you didn’t have these doubts and worries. But the fact that you are able to think them through, plan accordingly, and then GO FOR IT! shows you are a fabulous mum.

    Your children are so lucky V – I mean it. I would love for Kai to have the same opportunities and admire you enormously xx

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 28/01/2010 at 7:26 pm #

      Do you know what? That’s kind of what I think, that I have these doubts because I want what’s best for my family, and the doubts will help me sort it out. I’d have to be pretty empty headed to rush into this kind of undertaking without any worries.

  13. Tanya 29/01/2010 at 8:22 am #

    I know its a cliche but statistically worse things could happen at ‘home’ and I can’t think you’re irresponsible ‘exposing your kids’ to tropical developing world illnesses or what would that make me !:) We don’t take prophylactics for malaria -the mossies are immune here anyway- did get shots for hepatitis and Jap enceph but not typhoid (it’s less than 50% effective at best). When we were in Samoa Mac got Dengue but recovered pretty fast (he was 10). If he gets it again he has an increased risk of haemorragic fever (the nasty complication) but then he’s now 16 and if we’d stayed in NZ he would be sadly at greater risk of suffering at the hands of a drink driver (including himself). Did we do the right thing embarking on our slow trip around the world- without a shadow of a doubt absolutely yes!! I am a firm believer that the world, its people and the act of traveling are all much better educators than a classroom after all in todays world EQ is a lot more vital to success in life (however you may measure it) than IQ. So Anchors Away! maybe you’ll drop into my neck of the woods sometime soon and if you get there before we get back (for a holiday) give New Zealand my love 🙂

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 30/01/2010 at 5:07 pm #

      Thank you. It’s always good to hear about people who are doing something more adventurous than us and have lived to tell the tale. I have currently got Vietnam and Cambodia books out of the library and am doing my research, expect us in a country near you soon…

  14. Kelly 29/01/2010 at 1:08 pm #

    Ah, don’t we just hate those voices in our head?

    It is a great oppurtunity for you and your family what you are planning. I think its better to do it now than before they are teenagers and need the security and stability of a regular environment. I’d say go for it!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 30/01/2010 at 5:04 pm #

      Thanks! Also, we’ve already bought the tickets, so despite my worries, there’s really no going back…

  15. marisworld 31/01/2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Wow! I am so envious, what a fantastic idea and opportunity for the children.
    Of course you are going to have these thoughts as they are a flip side to the positive ones, if you didn’t have them – then maybe there’d be a need to worry about your intentions.
    Everything’ll be fine, maybe a few hiccups along the way but isn’t that part of living?
    My life won’t be taking me on a simliar journey, there are opther plans for me so I shall be watching you to enjoy through your eyes this marvellous opportunity 🙂
    PS Found you through Sleep is for the Weak!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 31/01/2010 at 5:30 pm #

      Thank you for your kind comments. I love Sleep is for the Weak, one of my favourite blogs!

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